‘To try is to triumph’

As well as working in PR, I am also studying a Master’s in PR and Multimedia Communication. Today in one of our classes we had a mind-set coach talk to us about being an impactful speaker.

I will admit I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I came away feeling very inspired to take control of my life, my work, and to ditch the fear!

During the two hours Donna set us mini tasks to try and find ‘the real and remarkable you’. Some of this involved talking about yourself in the third person, which I couldn’t stop giggling at (like a naughty school child sat at the back admittedly…), but it really made me think about my strengths and recognise how far I’ve come.

I hated public speaking when I first started out in the PR industry. It used to fill me with dread every time I was asked to present something. I was told to ‘fake it until I made it’ but, as we discovered today, any ‘mask’ you wear will disappear the moment stress or fear takes hold. I eventually found my own techniques to cope and, for the first time ever, actually enjoyed giving a presentation at the CASE annual Europe conference this year (the biggest one I’ve given to-date that’s for sure).

Some of the top tips I took away from today include:

  • Your perception of something can cloud reality, so focus on an alternative where you’re positive and not afraid.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen and think about what you might do if it does. In the majority of cases, the reality won’t be as bad.
  • Reflect back on your mistakes and recognise how they have made you a stronger person. We’re all human after all.
  • What’s really important is your message (not your outfit). Focus on that and your audience will too.
  • And finally, Donna finished with this as a slide, which I think sums it up quite well – “The moment you choose to try, IS the moment you triumph.”

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